Hi, I'm Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker, and I am the proud owner of Cigar Box Nation and C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, the premier supplier of parts, kits and gear to the cigar box guitar and handmade music movement.
I first got into handmade musical instruments back in 2008 when a friend brought me a canjo as a gift from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I looked at it, plucked a few notes, and said "well heck I can build one of these." I got on the internet, discovered cigar box guitars, and was soon hooked. Not long after, Shane Speal (the King of the Cigar Box Guitar) founded Cigar Box Nation, and I joined a couple of weeks later.
After building a few, I realized that I could maybe sell some fret wire on eBay to help fund my hobby. From that small start I began sourcing and selling more key parts for CBGs - tuners, grommets for sound hole inserts, box corners, tailpieces, etc, and within a couple of years the business had grown so much that I was able to quit my day job and run C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply full time from the basement of my home. A year or so later, Shane Speal sold Cigar Box Nation to me so that he could focus his energies on his music career, and I have been running it ever since.
Now, C. B. Gitty is housed in 13,000 square foot section of an old mill in Gonic, New Hampshire and has eight employees, with over a thousand products and shipping over 500 orders a week. Even with all of this growth, I remain as excited as ever about cigar box guitars and the handmade music movement... I still get that excitement and thrill when I finish a guitar, and I can't wait to get it strung up and see how it sounds.
This movement is just getting started, and I can't wait to see where it goes. For more of my thoughts on all of this, check out the Cigar Box Guitar Manifesto which I wrote a while back, which really sums up my feelings about it.
Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker